Quarterbacks have won the Heisman Trophy five times in the last half-dozen seasons. Looking at the current college football odds, that will continue.
Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud (+225) currently leads the latest winner, Bryce Young of Alabama, and Southern California’s Caleb Williams in the Heisman Trophy pecking order for this season, That’s according to the college football predictions. A year after Michigan sack master Aidan Hutchinson finished second in the balloting, Alabama’s Will Anderson is representing the defense. He is currently the fourth choice on the board, right before Texas running back Bijan Robinson.
Here is a look at the latest Heisman Trophy odds, according to the sportsbook.
Crowded at the top
It’d perhaps be ironic if the main obstacle to Bryce Young joining former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy would be a current Buckeye.
Stroud had a better passer rating, a higher completion percentage, averaged more yards per passing attempt, and threw for more yards per game than did Young a season ago, but finished fourth in the 2021 Heisman voting. Young had 684 first-place votes compared to just 12 for Stroud.
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If there’s a major difference between the two current front-runners for the award, it may be the presence of Jaxon Smith-Njigba on the Buckeye roster.
Smith-Njigba was second in the country in receiving yards per game in 2021. With Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson among the top receivers selected in the last draft, expect even more connections between Stroud and Smith-Njigba, the latter listed at +2800 to become the second receiver since 1992 to win the Heisman.
Stroud will also have a showcase game to begin the season as Ohio State hosts Notre Dame Sept. 3. For those who bet online, it is interesting to see that the Buckeyes are 16-point choices against a top 10 Notre Dame team.
Alabama lost a pair of 1,000-yard receivers when Jameson Williams and John Metchie went to the NFL, and there are questions about who will emerge as the go-to receiver(s) for Bryce Young. One thing that is not in question are the playmakers on the roster of the Crimson Tide. There will be dynamic threats for Young to find downfield.
Stroud, who threw for 4,435 yards with 44 touchdown passes (six interceptions) while completing 72% of his passes, is holding as the favorite in the odds.
Young had 14 touchdown passes (four interceptions) in five games against ranked teams in 2021. He is currently priced at +350.
Transfers will impact the Heisman race
With the college football landscape impacted by the transfer portal and the ability for players to be immediately eligible the first time they switch schools, it’s only fitting that five of the top 13 players in the current Heisman odds will be playing at a different school in 2022 than in 2021.
Among those players seeking those greener pastures is quarterback Caleb Williams. Williams followed coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to Southern California, emerging as a Heisman candidate as a true freshman, despite not starting until midway through the season. With receiver Mario Williams also making the move from Oklahoma to USC, and reigning Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison leaving Pitt to join the star-studded roster of Trojans, it’s no wonder the college football lines list Williams at +475 in the Heisman Trophy odds.
Quarterbacks Dillon Gabriel, who went from UCF to Oklahoma, Quinn Ewers (Ohio State to Texas), and Jaxson Dart (USC to Ole Miss) come in at +2800, +3300, and +4000, respectively, according to the college football lines. Will Levis is in his second season at Kentucky after beginning his career at Penn State. He is joining Dart at +4000, while Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma to South Carolina), is at +5000 odds. That’s the same number as (Georgia to West Virginia) JT Daniels.
Quarterbacks aren’t the only high-profile players finding a new location to shine.
Former Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs, now at ‘Bama, is at +3300. That’s second among the rusherz. USC’s Addison is at +8000.
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Anderson looks to take the next step
Young was the winner of the Heisman Trophy, but was he the best player on the 2021 Alabama team?
Anderson led the country in 33½ tackles for loss and 17½ sacks. He was the first player from a Football Bowl Subdivision team to record at least 30 tackles for loss in a decade. What an incredible season, earning him the third-highest number of first-place votes for the award. Anderson ended fifth in the voting.
Many of the players he shared the field with headed off to the NFL, but don’t be surprised to see Anderson (+1800 in Heisman odds) make a living in the backfield once again. You will be searching for a while to find the next defensive player in the list of candidates.
Texas-sized Heisman dreams for Robinson
The last two running backs to win the Heisman both played at Alabama. Mark Ingram won the award in 2009 (1,658 yards, 17 touchdowns). Six years later it was Derrick Henry (2,219 yards 28 touchdowns). While Gibbs is in the Heisman conversation, it’s Bijan Robinson of Texas who’s favored among the running backs ( +2200) to win.
Robinson didn’t have gaudy numbers in 2021 (1,127 yards, 11 touchdowns). He ended with more than 100 yards in six of the first seven games before an injury derailment.. Four of those 100-yard efforts came against ranked opponents, and his supporting cast is better now than it was in 2021, so Robinson factor in the Heisman race.
Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson (1,255 yards, 15 rushing touchdowns, 27 receptions as a freshman) is tied with Gibbs at +3300, while Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen (+4000) is another damaging runner. Allen had 12 carries in the first four games of his freshman season, then took off. He finished with 1,268 yards (6.8 yards-per-carry average).
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